10 years ago, Queen Genetics introduced their kalanchoe outdoor concept and after a slow start, sales picked up very fast; increasing 10-15% every year. "The popularity of using kalanchoe as an outdoor plant increased worldwide and growers like the product as they can make it a year-round crop without having to change anything in their production," says Finn Hansen, Kalanchoe & Global Cultivation Advisor at this Danish breeding company. Currently, their assortment consists of single-coloured varieties as well as the new, innovative multi-coloured Kalanchoe ElseFlowers. But more is in the pipeline as they are busy breeding even stronger colors on even sturdier plants that are more vigorous, but still compact so that the use of PGR can be minimized and sometimes avoided.
Worldwide popularity of outdoor Kalanchoe
According to Hansen, the Kalanchoe as an outdoor plant is popular in many countries nowadays. “In Scandinavia, Europe, and in North America, we see the kalanchoe being used as an outdoor plant often. Also in Asia, it goes well, as the Kalanchoe can take the warm and humid climate. Every year, the demand increases 10-15% a year in both 21cm and 10.5cm in 4 pack bags”.
Advantages for the grower
The outdoor varieties are all, except a few varieties, selected from the Indoor assortment, which means that the outdoor Kalanchoe does not need any alternations in the production processes of the grower. On top of that, it enables the grower to sell year-round. "They can sell them even in the vacation period and the middle of summer," he adds. "Every kalanchoe grower can just add the color of their choice from the outdoor varieties to their assortment."
Advantages for the consumer
Also for consumers, the outdoor Kalanchoe seems to have several advantages over other bedding plants. In this video below, Finn Hansen mentions several advantages; bloom the entire season from mid-May until frost is coming, they withstand all weather types such as strong sunlight, rain, drought, wind, and shade, no need for maintenance, only need to be watered sparingly.
See the entire video for more information on the outdoor Kalanchoe, the sizes, and colors.
Future in breeding
Like every breeder, Queen Genetics is looking to expand the assortment with new and improved varieties. "First of all, we are looking for even bigger flowers, that can live up to our requirements. Also, we keep on searching for even stronger colors on even sturdier plants and at the same time, we will continue breeding for varieties that are more vigorous but still nice compact so that we can avoid using PGR. Today we use a very low amount of PGR, but the Goal is to use nothing by crossing compact varieties and new breeding technics.”